Thursday, 18 March 2010

NAN grant

We have the £500 NAN grant! Got the confirmation email and so that should kick start things for next week!

From: Emilia Telese
To: yvonne carmichael
Sent: Fri, 12 March, 2010 15:05:51
Subject: RE: Black Dogs NAN application

Dear Yvonne

Just a quick email to let you know your group have been awarded a NAN bursary. Congratulations!

I am putting together a small profile of your group and the other winners. If you have any comments following your arwarding, let me know and I could put it in the news item I am putting together today.

All the best

Name and address of your group including contact email and/or website, postal address and postcode:

Group Name: Black Dogs
Contact Names: Yvonne Carmichael, Andy Abbott
44 Whitlam Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire BD18 4PE

Number of members in your group: 8

Contact names of a-n subscribers within your group:

Yvonne Carmichael, Andy Abbott

Please describe your group’s history (limit 150 words)
Black Dogs is an artist collective based in Leeds and established in 2003. Members include artists, musicians, academics, cultural workers, curators and general doers, additional members vary on a project-to-project basis. We have produced various exhibitions, events, multiples, publications, public interventions and community projects since our inception (CV attached).

The collective has of late been researching and testing methods of skill and knowledge exchange through specifically designed user-completed publications as well as an independent /‘free’ art school or peer-learning model and is actively seeking out other individuals, organisations and collectives that may operate in complimentary (and divergent) ways to Black Dogs.

In the past year Black Dogs worked through some of these concerns in the context of a public art project commissioned by Yorkshire Forward at Tower Works in South Leeds, that also demanded an understanding and negotiation of the sensitivities of regeneration and gentrification in communities.

Please describe your group’s aims:
Black Dogs operates in a self-organised manner and practices a DIY-ethos of openness, inclusion, non-profit making and thrifty use of resources. The underlying ethic of the collective is the free sharing of knowledge, skills and experience that might lead us from a passive-consumer ‘society of extras’ towards a more egalitarian, participative and engaged social set-up.

Please describe your group’s future projects (limit 150 words)
Black Dogs have secured a space in Holbeck Urban Village in South Leeds, the Green Sands Foundry, for three months (until 23rd June 2010). Black Dogs hope to use this space as a ‘Lab’ to help garner a new body of research about alternative (that is, a-market, a-capitalist, self-organised and militantly not-for-profit) methods of artistic production and organisation.

Black Dogs is also involved in the production of artist sound recordings and has been invited to represent themselves at 'No Soul for Sale' at Tate Modern in May 2010.

Please describe your NAN Go and See project in 150 words:
As part of the project in Green Sands Foundry space Black Dogs will host a of free presentations, seminars and critique sessions in which artists from across Leeds and beyond will share practice and ideas. This ‘space for debate’ fills a gap in provision in the city which has been identified by various forums, meetings, consultations, and within Black Dogs’ own experience over recent years. It is hoped that the ‘Lab’ would bring a wide and varied range of creative people from Leeds and beyond into Holbeck Urban Village and the Foundry space itself.

We would like to use the bursary to cover travel expenses for visiting artists, writers, academics and curators to the Black Dogs Lab at Green Sand Foundry, Holbeck, Leeds. The Black Dogs Lab will hold a series of invite-only lectures and intensive critiques and workshops with these invitees who have been selected because of their relationship with members of the project and their appropriate knowledge and experience to the aims of the 'Lab' as a whole.

What are the aims of your NAN Go and See bursary project? (limit 150 words)

The money will allow us to invite individuals and organisations that we would not normally be able to afford to offer a visit to Leeds. As such it will raise the quality and impact of the research project. It will allow Black Dogs as a collective to become more outward looking and to learn about different models of collaboration and collective working. It will help facilitate and contribute to critical debate in Leeds. Finally, it will help raise the profile of Black Dogs through acting as hosts for international artists who we hope to continue a relationship with.

We aim to document the project as whole (through a blog and potentially a publication) and if this application is successful we will ensure we acknowledge NAN's support of the project.

(Who you want to visit and why? (limit 150 words))
People we would like to invite to the Green Sands Foundry space include...

Dave Beech (Freee Art Collective) Dave has written numerous articles for Art Monthly which are very relevant to Black Dogs practice and it would also be of interest to the group to hear about Free Art Collective.

Manchester Based Art collective Contents May Vary suggested that we contact Intercity Mainline and The Royal Standard as we could learn from understanding both as ways of working,

Intercity Mainline a bi-monthly publication, reflecting on and collaborating with different artist-led initiatives across the UK.)
The Royal Standard is an artist-led gallery, studios and social workspace in Liverpool. (Eva and Franco Mattes) are an artist duo that have created unpredictable mass-scale performances staged outside the traditional art venues and involving an unaware audience, where truth and falsehood mix to the point of being indistinguishable.
Black Dogs feel have an interest in their projects and feel it would be worth while to invite international artists to join the debate / critique.

Eleanor Barrett formerly involved with Shunt (London) now Director at the newly established Bradford Playhouse. Black Dogs would be interested to hear about Eleanors visions for the Playhouse as well as previous projects she has been involved with.

Encounters is a Sheffield based interdisciplinary artist collective who have devised a programme of arts projects using disused shop spaces and street based interventions, that involve participation with local residents and the collecting of urban histories.

(Other people we would invite if the above is not possible: Lombard Method, Empty Shop, Temporary Services, What, How and for Whom, Tim Etchells)

(Which members of your group will be making the visit?)
Which members of your group will be present for the above artists visit to Leeds...

As many Black dogs will be present as possible. We will also invite members of the artistic community who may find the critique/talk/seminar/debate of interest and who will actively contribute to the discourse.

An initial meeting was held for the Black Dogs Lab project on Tuesday 16th February. A broad range of indivuals from organisations, groups and collectives attended (including Lumen, PSL, Pavilion, Leeds College of Art, Leeds International Film Festival, Olsen, No Fixed Abode, Theartmarket, Nous Vous, Contents May Vary, Islington Art Academy, Woolgather). Mention NAN

Please give an Indication of the timescale for your visit

The project is proposed to span over the next three months. The time that Black Dogs has in the Green Sands Foundry Space may be extended beyond this period if there is no interest from other paying tenants to utilise the space. Talks and Seminars will occur weekly.

Please provide a budget for your project showing how the NAN bursary will be used

How the NAN money will be spent:
Dave Beech (Travel from London) - £65
The Royal Standard (return Travel from Liverpool) - £40
Intercity Mainline (return from Bristol) - £70 (return Travel from Vienna) - £300
Eleanor Barrett (Return from Bradford) - £3
Ruth Ben-Tovim (Encounters, Return travel from Sheffield) - £25

Total - £503

In kind support will be sought for places for artists to stay in Leeds.
There is a more extensive budget for the project which can be sent to you on request.

Please attach ONE image which you consider representative of your group or project, with caption. The image must not be larger than 1Mb in size as it will not be received by our email box and will delay receipt of your application.
You can refer to additional visual material by providing weblinks below:

Black Dogs Website

Black Dogs Flickr account


  1. obviously we have room for maneuver on the exact details of the speakers but just so you know there's a pot of cash to dip in to to cover travel. let's get inviting!

  2. Great work Yvonne. Excellent application.


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